What Does Periodontitis Look Like?

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If you've been dealing with symptoms like sore gums, swollen gums, or persistent bad breath, it's crucial to take these signs seriously. Conditions like gum disease can escalate into a severe form known as periodontitis if left untreated. Our skilled team of periodontists at Premier Periodontics is here to help you understand and address these concerns. With convenient locations in Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Olympia, and Redmond, WA, our mission is to provide quality oral care that's easily accessible to everyone. It’s important to understand what periodontal disease looks like so you know when to seek out dental care. To learn more, contact your nearest Premier Periodontics location to schedule an exam.

What is periodontitis, and how does it relate to periodontal disease?

Periodontitis is a severe form of periodontal disease that affects the gums and the soft tissues and bones supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease is a broad term that encompasses various stages of gum infections, including both gingivitis and periodontitis. Understanding the difference between these stages is essential, as periodontitis is often the advanced stage of untreated gingivitis. Knowing the symptoms and risk factors can help you seek treatment early, improving the chances of halting the disease's progression.

How can you recognize the early signs of gum disease?

Recognizing the early signs of gum disease is crucial for timely and effective treatment. Initial symptoms usually manifest as red, swollen gums that might bleed when you brush or floss. As the condition advances into periodontitis, more severe symptoms might appear, such as persistent bad breath, receding gums, and loose teeth. Specific early signs to look out for include:

  • Redness or swelling of the gums
  • Gums that bleed easily, especially when brushing or flossing
  • Pain or tenderness in the gums when touched

Being vigilant about these signs will help you take the necessary steps for diagnosis and treatment before the condition worsens.

How is periodontitis diagnosed?

Our Bellevue, WA and surrounding area periodontists usually perform a comprehensive oral examination to diagnose periodontitis. During this examination, they will measure the pocket depths around your teeth, take dental X-rays, and may even perform a microscopic evaluation. They'll also review your medical history, as underlying health conditions like diabetes can contribute to periodontal disease. A full diagnosis offers the best guidance possible for a targeted treatment plan.

What treatment options are available for periodontitis?

The main goal of treating periodontal disease is to stop its progression. This usually involves procedures to clean the pockets around your teeth to prevent further bone loss and tissue damage. Often, scaling and root planing are performed to remove plaque and tartar and to smooth the root surfaces, making it harder for bacteria to accumulate. Adjunctive therapies like antibiotics may also be used to control the infection. In some severe cases, gum grafting may also need to be considered.

What preventive measures can you take against gum disease?

Avoiding any form of periodontal disease starts with good oral hygiene. Consistent daily brushing and flossing are foundational steps. Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are also essential for monitoring your gum health. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or avoiding tobacco products can further reduce your risk of developing these conditions.

Find out how to help prevent periodontitis

Don't ignore early signs of periodontal disease like sore gums or persistent bad breath. Once advanced to more advanced forms, such as periodontitis, periodontal disease can cause irreversible damage. At Premier Periodontics, we're committed to serving the communities across Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Olympia, and Redmond, WA, with expert diagnosis and treatment options for periodontal disease. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are your best defense against the progression of this condition. Contact us today for an appointment and protect your oral health.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.